‘Never Adjusted Your Stand’: 9 Elgar Accused Congratulate Anand Teltumbde From Jail
The Wire / by The Wire Staff
Their co-accused who is out on bail, Teltumbde has been conferred the Basava National Award – Karnataka’s highest honour.
… Although a few have been granted bail on medical and technical grounds, nine remain behind bars at Byculla and Taloja prisons in Maharashtra. The latter have written a congratulatory letter to co-accused Dr Anand Teltumbde, on his being given the Karnataka government’s highest award, the Basava Award.
The letter, which the prisoners released through their lawyers, is being produced below. Read more
‘A small streak of light’: Seven BK prisoners congratulate Anand Teltumbde on award
Scroll.in / by Scroll Staff
The writer, who is on bail in the same case, was honoured with the Basava Award by the Karnataka government on January 31.
The seven people who are still in jail in the Bhima Koregaon case have congratulated their co-accused Anand Teltumbde for having been granted the Karnataka government’s Basava Award on January 31 and pushing “forward the wheel of democratic revolution of annihilating the caste system”. Read more
WBUR / Deepa Fernandes speaks with Suchitra Vijayan
Host Deepa Fernandes speaks with Suchitra Vijayan, co-author of the new book “How Long Can the Moon be Caged?,” which documents how people who speak in favor of Muslims and minority communities have increasingly been arrested and imprisoned by the Indian government.
Podcast en | 9:45min | 2023 Listen to the podcast
Book excerpt: ‘How Long Can the Moon be Caged?’ By Suchitra Vijayan and Francesca Recchia
A Dalit activist we spoke to said that most people do not encounter the state the way Dalits, Adivasis and Muslims do. She told us: ‘The state has always had a boot on our necks.’ Forget living; imagine what it takes to survive this. The boot is always pressed against minorities’ necks, making it hard to breathe, demanding that they beg for dignity every day. She added: ‘[For us] it doesn’t matter who is in power; oppression is the only thing that hasn’t changed’. Read more
The Bhima Koregaon–Elgar Parishad ‘Maoist’ conspiracy case is a grand experiment with truth where the State is daring the people to stand up for justice.
‘TRUTH or dare’ is a mostly verbal party game requiring two or more players. Players are given the choice between answering a question truthfully, or performing a ‘dare’. The premise is simple: Players take turns asking one another ‘truth or dare?’ If they choose truth, they have to answer a question of the asker’s choosing. If they choose dare, the asker dares them to do something rather than make a confession.
Suppose the State were to subject its citizens to a macabre version of this game by cooking up a conspiracy case and locking up people behind bars. Then tell them that in order to win their freedom, they have to choose the ‘truth’ of the conspiracy or the ‘dare’ to dissent.
This is the absurd logic that plays out when you try to make sense of the Bhima Koregaon conspiracy case. Read more
In a Letter From Jail, Stan Swamy’s Co-Accused Ask President Murmu to Stand Up for What Is Right
The Wire / by The Wire Staff
Today is Father Stan Swamy’s second death anniversary.
Two years ago on this day, 84-year-old Jharkhand-based tribal rights activist Father Stan Swamy breathed his last while in custody. His death exposed the state’s negligence and inability to protect prisoners. Swamy, a Parkinson’s patient, spent close to a year in jail, deprived of the most basic facilities – one of which was a sipper to drink water from.
On his second death anniversary, 11 of his co-accused (Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, Shoma Sen, Mahesh Raut, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira, Hany Babu, Ramesh Gaichor, Sagar Gorkhe and Jyoti Jagtap) – all human rights activists and academics – write a letter to President of India Draupadi Murmu, who belongs to the tribal community that Swamy worked very closely with. Murmu, who recently spoke passionately about the conditions of Indian prisoners, was the governor of Jharkhand when Swamy’s organisation, Bagaicha, was raided and eventually he was arrested by the National Investigation Agency.
Along with the letter, the still-arrested human rights defenders also announced their one-day symbolic hunger strike in Mumbai’s Taloja and Byculla jails, where they are presently lodged.
The full text of their letter to the president is below. Read more
Caged birds and prison songs: In chorus, Stan Swamy and the Bhima Koregaon accused kept hope alive
Scroll.in / by Vernon Gonsalves
A fellow prisoner’s recollections of the Jesuit priest, who died on July 5, 2021.
“…I am ready to pay the price, whatever be it. But we will sing in chorus. A caged bird can still sing.”
– Father Stan Swamy
When Stan Swamy, in his last message before landing in Navi Mumbai’s Taloja Central Prison in October 2020, declared that a “caged bird can still sing”, he was not talking about the tunes prisoners sing in jail. He had then not been imprisoned before that and was probably not acquainted with prison-singing in its various forms. Read more
On Father Stan Swamy’s second death anniversary, two letters, a painting and the triumph of memory against forgetting
The Leaflet / by Sarah Thanawala
Father Stan Swamy’s death was an international shock the ripples of which can still be felt, and a blot on the record of a State that treats criminal justice as its plaything. His legacy is treasured by his co-accused in the Bhima-Koregaon case inside the prison, and everyone who stands for justice and democracy outside the prison.
… The 11 incarcerated accused persons in the Elgar Parishad case are set to go on a day-long hunger strike today. They pen an imaginary letter from Swamy to the President of India Droupadi Murmu, terming it “Prayers that never came to be”. Read more
“Hopefully waiting” writes Shoma Sen from prison
InSAF India / by Shoma Sen
This handwritten note by Shoma Sen marks five years in prison for the activist and academic.
As we enter the sixth year of our incarceration the predominant feeling over the last five years is that of waiting. From waiting for default bail in the seventh month of our imprisonment, most of us are still waiting. In jail, we sit there waiting for court dates, waiting for mulakaat, waiting for the newspaper, waiting for bail and for the jail God called Memo. In jail, our sense of time itself gets warped. When a lawyer tells a prisoner that she will get bail in one or two days, it may actually mean one or two years. 24 hours of clock time could mean 24 months in judicial time. Read more
Who are the acclaimed ‘BK-16’? / HRDs and families await justice, five years down
Faulty investigation and severe loopholes in investigation, surrounds the controversial BK-16 case. International outcry has not helped move the trial five years down even while the targeted languish, families await the return of their loved ones
In June 2021, European Union parliamentarians, Nobel Laureates, renowned academics, and internationally known figures wrote a letter to the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, the then Chief Justice of India as well as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, and other authorities in India, demanding to the release of political prisoners arrested with relation to the Elgar Parishad and Bhima Koregaon incident.
Amidst contested accusations of an anti-India conspiracy, militancy, and violence, five long years have passed since the BK-16 have been imprisoned without trial. Read more
Who are the acclaimed ‘BK-16’?
cjp / by CJP Team
Five years have passed, and human rights defenders (HRDs) and their families continue to await justice.
Status: Detained without trial
Charges:Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) since June 2018
Location: Taloja Central Prison, Mumbai
Gadling is a human rights lawyer and a Dalit activist. Over time, Gadling established himself as a keen advocate and a key figure in cases related to extrajudicial killings, police misconduct, false accusations, and injustices against Dalits and Adivasis in the region… Read more
The following poems were written by poet Sudhir Dhawale and Advocate Surendra Gadling on 6 June 2023, the fifth anniversary of their incarceration as undertrials in the Bhima Koregaon/Elgar Parishad case.
hindi | 8:43min | June 6, 2023
Five years back this day they took him away hoping to break his spirit. 1825 days so far behind bars and see who won?
During the short release he sang his heart. Caged yet fearless. U can jail him not his charisma.
This is the second of the songs. Lyrics by Sagar Gorkhe. Listen to the song
Five years behind bars for five activists – Without bail, without charges being framed, without justice!
By Peoples Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR)
Five years behind bars for five activists
Without bail, without charges being framed, without justice!
Release all 15-surviving accused in the Bhima Koregaon case.
June 6, 2023 will mark five years that five activists are behind bars. They include Mahesh Raut, an anti-displacement campaigner, Rona Wilson, a political prisoners’ campaigner, Shoma Sen, a feminist activist and professor, Sudhir Dhawale, a Dalit rights activist and Surendra Gadling, a lawyer who takes people’s rights cases pro-bono. Read full statement
Five Years Since The First Arrests In Bhima-Koregaon Case
Countercurrents.org / by Coordination of Democratic Rights Organisation (CDRO)
6th June 2018. The nation’s conscience suffered yet another attack by the arrests of leading intellectuals and democratic rights activists by the Pune police in connection with the so-called Bhima-Koregaon (BK) case. These arrests snowballed into a series of arrests in subsequent months. Five years have passed, and barring a few activists out on bail, the arrested persons are still languishing in jail without a charge sheet being filed. Through this statement, the CDRO once again tries to remember the incidents leading to these arrests and subsequent events; so that people can unite in a struggle for the release of the BK-16 and the repeal of draconian laws. Read full statement
Five years of Bhima Koregaon arrests: CDRO marks ‘black day’
The Leaflet / by Sarah Thanawala
It was on this day in 2018 that five activists were first arrested by the Pune police in the Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad Maoist links and criminal conspiracy case. To mark this day, and by means of highlighting the plight of the arrested persons, the Coordination of Democratic Rights Organisation and People’s Union for Democratic Rights have issued press statements demanding the immediate release of all the persons behind bars in connection with the case. Read more
Release activists incarcerated in Bhima Koregaon Case
Countercurrents.org / by Campaign Against State Repression
June 6th became a day of one of the most audacious attack by the Brahmanical Hindutva Fascist state on the Democratic rights and political activists and began new era of rampant use of UAPA and conspiracy cases, which was, although known to the working class, the peasantry and the oppressed, have been largely unknown to the Urban democratic movement. June 6th, 2018 marks the first arrest in the infamous Bhima Koregaon ‘Conspiracy’ case, after series of raids in April 2018. The police arrested Sudhir Dhawale, Surendra Gadling, Rona Wilson, Shoma Sen and Mahesh Raut. Read full statement
Five years after arrest, Bhima Koregaon case accused yet to get copies of proof against them
The Hindu / by Sonam Saigal
Special Public Prosecutor rubbished the allegation and said most of the material have been shared with them
It has been six years since Sudhir Dhawale, an activist; Surendra Gadling, a criminal lawyer practising in Nagpur; Shoma Sen, professor and Head of Department, English at Nagpur University; activists Rona Wilson and Mahesh Raut were arrested in the caste-based violence that broke out at Bhima Koregaon in Pune in 2017. Read more
The BJP, which strives to trip governments in Opp-ruled states, seems to be heeding playwright’s notion of dissolving the people.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s inauguration of the new Parliament building reminded me of playwright Bertolt Brecht and his poem The Solution.
… At the Elgar Parishad, organised in Pune on December 31, 2017, activist Sudhir Dhawale began his speech thus: “What sort of a city is this? What sort of people/are you?/When injustice is done there should be a revolt in this city/And if there is no revolt, it were better that the/city should perish in fire before night falls.” The Pune Police claimed this verse proved Dhawale instigated the January 1, 2018 violence at Bhima Koregaon. He has been locked up for the last five years. Read more
By Bar & Bench (March 30):
Bench of Justice Revati Mohite Dere of Bombay High Court recuses from hearing default bail pleas of Bhima Koregoan accused Mahesh Raut and 3 others.
Justice Revati Mohite Dere of Bombay HC recuses from hearing bail plea of Mahesh Raut, others
India Legal / by India Legal
Justice Revati Mohite Dere of Bombay High Court on Thursday recused herself from hearing the default bail petitions of Mahesh Raut and three others, who were arrested for their alleged involvement in the Elgar Parishad Maoists links case of 2018.
Earlier on March 1, the High Court had issued notice to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on the default bail plea of Raut, Sudhir Dhawale, Shoma Sen and Rona Wilson, who were arrested on June 6, 2018 under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Read more
Bombay High Court seeks NIA response to plea by 4 accused for default bail
Bar & Bench / by Neha Joshi
The four accused have challenged an order of a special NIA court rejecting their default bail pleas. They sought parity with Sudha Bharadwaj, a co-accused who was granted default bail by the High Court in 2021.
The Bombay High Court on Wednesday issued notice to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on a plea for default bail filed by four persons accused in the Bhima Koregaon case [Mahesh Raut & 4 others v. National Investigation Agency]. Read more
4 accused seek bail from Bombay HC on parity with Sudha Bharadwaj
India Today / by Vidya
Four accused in the Elgar Parishad case sought bail in the Bombay High Court on parity with Sudha Bharadwaj, who was granted default bail in 2021 in the same case.
The Bombay High Court has issued notice to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and sought a reply to the bail petition of four Elgar Parishad accused – Mahesh Raut, Sudhir Dhawale, Shoma Sen and Rona Wilson. Read more